Yesterday saw the third concert take place in the Summer Series at Trinity, with Rag’n’Bone Man taking centre stage supported by Grace Carter. The Summer Series at Trinity is there not to just to display a variety of musical talents but the versatility of Trinity’s campus. The money made from this venture will go towards supporting the provost’s PhD Project awards, a programme dedicated to funding PhD students.
At 7pm the gates of Trinity opened to welcome the varied audience attending the concert, ranging from young teenagers to those in their sixties. Against the backdrop of the warm sun setting across campus, the smell of weed, beer and cigarettes wafted across the cricket pitch. The white tiles laid out to protect the grass were filled with the noise of clicking shoes and the throb of music.
Grace Carter opened for Rag’n’Bone Man. In a blue ensemble, she was engaging and warmed up the crowd before the inevitable gap between the hype and the main act. Rag’n’Bone Man’s band filtered out on stage, composed of guitarists, a drummer, a guy on the keyboard as well as two men playing the trumpet, not to mention his two back up singers.
Despite this apparently packed stage, added with Rag’n’Bone Man’s large frame, the stage did not feel crowded. In the queue for the portaloos, one woman complained he wasn’t engaging enough with the crowd. This may be fair, as his conversation was limited as was his physical movement. But it seemed to translate rather to a comfort on stage and that with his audience. He was magnetic, your gaze drawn to him at every moment as his deep voice throbbed through your chest.
At times he appeared in solitude on the stage, only for him to turn and joke or grin at one of his band mates. Indeed, he emphasised their importance to the show as he readily thanked them. At one point, during a break from his singing a guitar played while he picked up one of his neatly folded towels to fan the guitar as if he could dispel some of the electric energy vibrating from the stage.
Rag’n’Bone Man’s appeal was apparent as he switched style between songs. At times his deep voice echoed over the grounds before he’d slip into a bar of rap. His band played behind him, their gazes focused on him only to be broken by the occasional grin at one another.
His face took on an expression of serenity as he sang, his eyes shutting occasionally. Only to be contrasted moments later, as a cheeky grin spread over his face, joking: “We might have one happy song later.” He played songs such as ‘Grace’ and his famous song ‘Human’. He promised the crowd he wouldn’t purely stick to his new content, which received a loud cheer.
When asked how one woman was enjoying the concert she nodded enthusiastically. She first discovered Rag’n’Bone when she heard his voice so she looked him up on YouTube hoping to hear more “I thought he was black, a gospel singer,” she laughed, “and then I looked him up on YouTube and he was a lumberjack!”